CMC: Transcribes Oral History Interviews

This image shows a tracking sheet, the ExpressScribe program, and a final transcript in Microsoft Word.

This image shows a tracking sheet, the ExpressScribe program, and a final transcript in Microsoft Word.


As 2020 came to a close, so too did the transcription component of the Marshall Public Library’s Oral History Interviews. Erin Rose, CMC Metadata Cataloger, Heidi Margold, CMC Cataloger, and Dr. Pamela Thomas, Bibliographic Projects Coordinator, transcribed 261 interviews at approximately 182 hours and 41 minutes. This was done through a combination of editing transcriptions that were created by volunteers prior to the CMC taking on this project, pulling caption transcripts from interviews that were uploaded onto YouTube to clean up, and transcribing audio files from scratch. The last process involved listening to the audio files in a program called Express Scribe, which allows adjustments in audio speed and rewind/fast forward/stop/play through assigned “hot keys,” and then typing every word out in Microsoft Word.


Now that the transcription has been completed, 2021 will see the development of metadata templates, file conversions, and other preparations required to upload all materials to Illinois Digital Archives (IDA).


To learn more about Marshall Public Library’s Oral History Interviews project, pop over to where you can find the landing page for this project, including YouTube links and older transcripts for the majority of the interviews.


The Cataloging Maintenance Center (CMC) is helping Illinois libraries catalog special collections to make them available to the public. If you have a special collection that needs to be cataloged, the CMC may be able to help. Contact them at 618.656.3216 x503 or visit the CMC webpage.


CMC Cataloging Maintenance Cwenter - Statewide Cataloging Support

Funding for the Cataloging Maintenance Center is provided through the Illinois State Library and the Secretary of State and administered by Illinois Heartland Library System. The CMC provides statewide cataloging support for Illinois libraries, including free original and copy cataloging of eligible special collections, consultation on metadata projects, database cleanup for LLSAPs, cataloging training, and more. Learn more at